Blogger Street Team member Amy (aka Allergic Foodie) shares with us her excitement of travelling to Disney World this November to celebrate her recovery. Her blog Adventures of an Allergic Foodie provides help to fellow adults and families by sharing strategies, research, helpful products, personal stories, and more with insight in living food allergies, celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis.
Go Back to Spring Break 2004. There I was in the happiest places on earth—Disneyland—feeling miserable. While my husband and two sons ran around the park enjoying a lifetime experience of rides, attractions and food, I crawled back to our hotel room and slinked into bed. The pain was unbearable and I was so exhausted, a kind of exhaustion I’d never felt before.
We’d flown to Anaheim from Colorado Springs to promote my second nonfiction book, The Pregnancy Bed Rest Book. Ah, I see the irony now–the book was for pregnant women, but I was spending my downtown under the covers. It was a trip none of us would forget—but for very different reasons.
When we returned from California, I sought answers for my health issues. Every doctor seemed to have a theory for my pain and GI woes that required a medical procedure followed by a surgery followed by rounds of antibiotics and painkillers. While I should have been getting better, I felt even worse–year after year.
Then, thanks to a pharmacy’s advertisement in our local newspaper, I took a food allergy test. Turned out I was allergic to foods I ate at every meal—dairy, wheat, eggs, soy and more. After consulting an allergist who confirmed the allergies—I didn’t believe I could be allergic that many foods!–I visited a gastroenterologist. He diagnosed celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis and a leaky gut, which was probably caused by all those years of undiagnosed celiac disease and all those prescribed medications. I finally had answers to why I felt like an 80-year-old woman inside a 40-year-old body.
Flash forward to 2014. Ten years have passed since our trip to Disneyland. I am a different person. My gut is still healing, but I am pain-free most days. Now I spend most of my downtime on the golf course or hiking in the mountains. Instead of writing about pregnancy complications, I write about living life to the fullest with food restrictions and I participate as much as I can in the celiac disease and food allergy community, which is why . . .
I’m going to Walt Disney World!
When I found out the first annual Food Allergy and Celiac Convention would take place in Orlando–at Walt Disney World–I knew I had to go. What a perfect way to celebrate my health recovery—a journey that started ten years ago in another Walt Disney park—by joining this important effort to highlight food allergies and celiac disease and raising awareness. And yes, okay, I do know that Walt Disney World is known for feeding food-restricted guests well; after all, an Allergic Foodie can’t celebrate without food.
Ten years ago, undiagnosed celiac disease prevented me from enjoying our family’s trip to Disneyland, so we’ve decided to take everyone to Disney World this November. This trip and the convention, held in the most magical place on earth, will be a full-circle celebration for our family and a chance for closure for me.